APF ladies complete invincible campaign with title win


Kathmandu, Jan. 4Remaining unbeaten Armed Police Force (APF) Club, the only departmental team in the eight-team T20 tournament, has won the PM Cup Women’s National Cricket Tournament.

APF won the final against Koshi Province by 11 runs in front of a decent crowd at the TU International Cricket Ground on Wednesday to lift the trophy after two years. Previously, APF had won the title of PM Cup in 2021 editions.

The dominant APF side struggled the most in the final match to win the tournament. Batting first, APF gave a target of 115 losing seven wickets. In six of the nine matches batted first by APF throughout the campaign, it was the lowest target posted by APF.

Indu Barma was the highest scorer for APF with her third half-century of the edition. She was caught by Namita Shrestha in the first ball of the final over bowled by Apsari Begam and went back to the pavilion scoring 53 runs off 47 balls with six fours and a six.

Opener Jyoti Pandey (27 off 30) and Roma Thapa (14 off 15) were the only batters to score in two digits for APF.

Begam prevented APF from extending the target as she took a hat trick of wickets by dismissing Barma, Nary Thapa and Sonu Khadka in the first three balls of the final over.

Alisha Khadiya took two wickets and Rubina Chhetry and Nisha Shah took a wicket each respectively for Koshi.

However, despite restricting APF to its lowest target in the tournament, Koshi could not win its second title. Koshi had lifted the trophy in 2020.

Chhetry played a captain’s inning in the chase but lacked enough support from others to reach the target in 20 overs. Opening the inning for Koshi, Chhetry scored 62 runs off 58 balls with the support of seven fours and a six. It was her third fifty this edition.

Kajal Shrestha was the only second batter for Koshi to score in two digits as the team could only reach 103 runs losing four wickets at the end of 20 overs. Karuna Bhandari and Sita Rana Magar took a wicket each for APF.

For the first time, the tournament was played in a round-robin format with the playoffs, and a final. Koshi had lost to APF by 52 runs in Qualifier 1 for a place in the finals. APF also won against Koshi by eight wickets in the league stage.

Meanwhile, despite losing, Chhetry became the highest scorer in the tournament with 345 runs in 10 innings. APF’s Barma, who batted in seven innings, was the second-highest scorer in the tourney with 284 runs.

Chhetry was declared the player of the tournament for her performance with both bat and ball and was given a Yamaha Ray ZR Hybrid 125cc scooter.

Jyotsnika Marasini of Gandaki Province was adjudged as the emerging player in the tournament. Usha Mahato of Madhes Province and Suman Khatiwada of Gandaki Province were awarded as the best bowler and batter respectively.

APF won the cash prize of Rs. 500,000 with the trophy and Koshi received Rs. 300,000 as the runner-up.

 Jyoti retires 

Jyoti Pandey, the opening batsman and wicketkeeper for the Nepali women's national cricket team, announced her retirement from both national and domestic duties on Wednesday.

She retired after winning the Prime Minister's Cup Women's T20 title for APF, the team she has been playing for since 2011 in domestic cricket. She batted 27 runs in the title victory of APF.

Jyoti made her debut against Pakistan in the ACC Women's Asia Cup held in Thailand in 2016 and has played 17 T20 international matches for Nepal.

After her retirement, she was honoured by the APF team on the field with a guard of honour.

How did you feel after reading this news?